Kerry County Council has introduced beach-friendly wheelchairs to two beaches in Kerry. The Hippocampe chairs have been specially adapted to travel over soft sand and unlike ordinary wheelchairs they can be easily pushed on the beach and into the shallow water.
The chairs are already available at two beaches: Inch Beach on the Dingle Peninsula and Ballinskelligs Beach on the Iveragh Peninsula. This is just the start of this important initiative. There are plans to introduce the chairs to other beaches, starting with Ballyheigue.
These beach-friendly wheelchairs have the approval and support of the Irish Wheelchair Association, Enable Ireland and the Disability Federation of Ireland and are funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
The introduction of these wheelchairs has been welcomed by Councillor Terry O’Brien who is a wheelchair user and coordinator with the Irish Wheelchair Association.
“This is a great initiative in Kerry and, hopefully, we can see more of them available at Kerry beaches in the years ahead.” he said.
The wheelchairs are available free of charge for three-hour periods and must be booked in advance using a valid photo ID.
Users will need the assistance of an adult.
This is good news for disabled people who will now find it easier to enjoy some of Kerry’s great Blue Flag Beaches.